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This Is Your Captain Speaking: A Novel Paperback – June 5, 2012

15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“The cheeky send-up is aggressively experimental, but Methven manages to tell an engaging story amid the antic high jinks. B+”Entertainment Weekly

“Targeting celebrity-obsession, the always-on news cycle and corporate America, Methven raises both questions and laughs.”New York Post

“Relentlessly inventive. . . . Beneath the snappy dialogue and quirky plot twists, Methven is posing a profound question: What happens when a country can no longer live up to its own mythos? . . . Methven keeps the plot humming, all the way to the sticky end. He's an exciting new voice.”—Steve Almond, The Boston Globe

“You know who really had a satire coming? Sully Sullenberger. The heroic pilot who avoided crashing a damaged US Airways passenger plane by belly-flopping it onto the Hudson River became the first celebrity airman since Capt. John Yossarian. . . . A similar ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ event kick-starts Methven’s very funny, slightly batshit debut novel. . . . Methven’s energy and clear enthusiasm for the ridiculousness of his book translates to the read.”Time Out Chicago

“Do we take this seriously? We think not. We are big fans, though, of such inspired silliness.”Asbury Park Press (NJ)

“Jon Methven’s fiction debut is so inventive, assured and hilarious that it instantly establishes him as a major satirist for these times. . . . Entertaining subplots abound. Zinging up and down the ladder of comedy in pitch-perfect prose, This Is Your Captain Speaking is a shrewd response to an America besotted with image, celebrities and reality shows.”Bucknell Magazine

“A Pynchonesque, offbeat parody of American media coverage and celebrity. . . . a smart, fast-paced farce in which Methven ably satirizes America’s signature take on reality and culture of greed.”Booklist

“What if the ‘Miracle on the Hudson’ were completely faked by an unscrupulous airline company in order to boost prices? And what if we got a guy to write the whole thing up just like Carl Hiaasen? . . . Don’t miss Methven’s psychotic, if interactive, reading group guide at the end.”Kirkus Reviews

“[A] buoyant debut . . . Fans of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency will relish this frequent contributor’s snappy farce about publicity, celebrity culture, and a ne’er-do-well’s attempt to save some crippled orphans by way of one Beatle’s frozen swimmers.”Publishers Weekly

“Every so often a first novel comes along that blows your hair back with its ingenuity, that jumpstarts your faith in imaginative literature, and Jon Methven has written one of those novels. This Is Your Captain Speaking is an astonishing debut, a comedic masterwork worthy of the great Joe Orton and Stanley Elkin. Outrageous and gorgeously absurd, it shows us, with fearless accuracy, what a twisted tribe we have become.”—William Giraldi, author of Busy Monsters

“I’m not sure how it happened, but Thomas Pynchon and Donald Barthelme bumped into one another while toting their samples into a sperm bank. Jon Methven is the result. This Is Your Captain Speaking proves that Methven has his finger on the pulse of the absurd, the topical, the real. Here’s a novel that soars and soars. And swaggers relentlessly.”—George Singleton, author of Stray Decorum

"A playful and witty send-up of our media-mad culture. Methven is a comic writer to watch."—Jonathan Evison, author of West of Here

About the Author

Jon Methven has worked as a paperboy, a dishwasher, a Ponderosa meat cook (everything medium well), a pizza deliverer, a golf course grounds crewman, a barbecue seasoning filter employee, an illegal barbecue seasoning filter employee since he was living in Australia without a work visa at the time, a bartender, a mascot at Yankee Stadium (Mr. Popcorn), a journalist, a taste tester, and a cubicle dweller. He knows things you can only dream of knowing, or can learn if willing to work for minimum wage. His work has appeared at Timothy McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, n+1, The New York Times, and New York magazine, and he currently writes the “Analytically Speaking” column that appears Mondays at The Awl. He lives in New York City with his wife and son.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Original edition (June 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451642156
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451642155
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,302,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am a novelist and humorist out of New York City. My work has appeared in Timothy McSweeney's Internet Tendency, The New York Times, The Atlantic, New York Magazine, Buzzfeed, The Morning News, n+1 and The Awl. My first novel, THIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN SPEAKING, was published by Simon & Schuster in June 2012. A second novel, STRANGE BOAT, is due to publish by Rare Bird Books in April 2016.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ismael Casaletto on January 23, 2013
Format: Paperback
"Home of the Whopper!" I may have stolen that review from Burger King, but it definitely applies here also. Mr. Methven has managed to capture the dullness and ethics of a typical hit man's day-to-day life, albeit with a rather unnecessarily complicated plot.

Mr. Methven is on the fast track to becoming America's next literary satirist. Which is unfortunate since because he outed me as a hit man, making himself a potential witness for the prosecution if I'm ever indicted, I have no choice but to kill him immediately.

Come to think of it, that's a pretty cool concept for a book - a writer who invents a hit man character, and the fictional hit man comes to life and must kill the writer for whatever reason. You know who would be perfect to write that - Mr. Methven. Except, again, I have to kill him.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Methven on January 22, 2013
Format: Paperback
I loved "This Is Your Captain Speaking," and not just because I am the captain the author based the novel around. I also loved how the captain character is a family man, a swashbuckling gigolo, an experienced aviator and a man's man who knows his way around lady parts.

The author did a great job of depicting me as the type of captain who would make it his duty to save all the people on board, no matter what it took. And I'm saving these lives and sleeping with babes while half-loaded. I actually went through and counted all the pages on which I was inebriated, and it came out to 187 pages, more or less. That's a lot of drunk pages for a cultural icon. I'd say it's the drunkest a protagonist has been since those Gatsby folks swilled moonshine for 200 odd pages.

If you're looking for a well-researched look into the aviation industry, told by the people inside the industry, this isn't the book for you. But if you're looking for a fun romp through today's culture - and you're not opposed to a George Clooney-ish captain who can hold his liquor and fraudulently land jets in rivers - then start reading today. Also, I drink a vial of semen in the last chapter, which is totally the awesome thing to do at that point in the book, and completely out of character for me.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Marcia Lathroum on January 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
It is literally impossible to write a product review on anything from the afterlife. You need a credit card to open an account. Then you need to purchase something on Amazon before you can write a product review. And you have to provide a shipping and billing address, which is complicated on account of my being dead. If I put my old address on, and Yoko started getting boxes addressed to me, it would seriously freak her out.

At any rate, I felt compelled to navigate through those hurdles in order to write this review, being that a vial of my semen is integral to the plot. And that one detail is all I know about the book. I didn't actually read it; again, I'm dead, and once your dead, in order to interact with humans, or haunt them, or send them messages through dreams, or read their stupid novels, you have to fight through a bunch of bureaucratic hurdles. The dream keepers have to be paid off. Purgatory wants its cut. There's a whole stream of middle management trolls and henchmen you have to outsource various chores to. My point is, if I'm going to all the trouble of teleporting a novel from Earth to the afterlife, it's probably not going to be this novel that I choose. No offense to the author - I'm flattered you opted to glorify my primordial batter for your own financial gain. It's just - I'd probably choose a novel by an author who is already dead. That way, if I ever run in to her or him, we'll have something nice to say to each other.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Debra Nelson on January 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
As the second celebrity semen trafficker in this story, I agree with my former partner - this is a completely erroneous account of illegal celebrity semen trafficking. It's much more dangerous. And I'm much cooler than I'm depicted in this book. I'm writing this Amazon Review from prison, since I was arrested soon after this novel was published.

Prison isn't so bad. If I were to give prison an Amazon Review, I'd give it a 3 - it's not as fun as it seems in "Cool Hand Luke," but it's not as bad as HBO's "Oz" makes it out to be. No one has shanked me for being a celebrity semen trafficker. Then again, no one has given me special privileges for starring in "Semen Pirates," the reality television show based on this novel based on my arrest based on my occupation. I'd give the prison food an Amazon Rating of 4. I'd give the prison showers an Amazon Rating of 2. I'd give Amazon a rating of 5, mostly because I'm able to use these reviews to give directions to my partners on the outside, thus I can run my celebrity semen trafficking business from prison. While the average reader thinks this is just a book review, I've in fact given thirteen instructions to my syndicate on which celebrities to target this week. This review will net me close to $72,000 in semen sales.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Legal Eagle on January 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
While Mr. Willis was staying in the aforementioned hotel the evening the semen trafficking chapter took place, and Mr. Willis was filming a movie in New York City during this period, there is no proof he is the Mr. Willis cited in these pages. Mr. Willis is an international movie star of unprecedented importance. Every time an illegal celebrity semen syndicate claims it obtained a "Bruce Willis Specimen," the American public should not be so quick to assume it belongs to my client. We have since trademarked each of Mr. Willis's spermatozoa to prevent future complications. Contrary to what is presented in this novel, vials of Mr. Willis's semen are not for sale. Should Mr. Willis decide to sell his semen to fans in the future, it will be done through his website like the rest of the official Mr. Willis merchandise.
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